Teach English as a Foreign Language: It’ll Help
The single most beneficial aside in becoming proficient at learning languages is to learn to teach them. Assuming you are a Native English speaker, probably the easiest way to get involved in language learning is to Teach English as a Foreign Language. There are numerous benefits to this approach, which we’ll detail in the article below.
How to Teach English as a Foreign Language
Get yourself on a CELTA course. A lot of people think they can Teach English as a Foreign language by virtue of being an English Speaker. That isn’t the case. Intuitive understanding of the language is not academic understanding. CELTA is a World Recognised course, and it’s the standard that everyone should be held to.
Why Teach English as a Foreign Language?
You’ll learn more about your own language. You’ll cover the IPA, grammar, tenses. You’ll get an understanding of the framework by which people learn. Linguistics and language acquisition are a science, not an art. Most language learners don’t appreciate this, and could make far more gains in their language learning projects if they had a basic understanding of how professional institutions teach students. Meaning, phonology and morphology are key concepts which you’ll be using when you teach English as a Foreign Language, and they’ll help you in your own language learning pursuits.
You’re also going to come into contact with foreign culture. You’re going to get a deeper understanding of cultures which you might never have access to. You’re going to understand issues that foreign language speakers face long before you try learning the language yourself. For instance, my Mandarin Learning Project is aided by the fact that I’ve taught Mandarin Speakers. The problems your students face are going to be the same that you face in your target language. So if a Chinese person always uses grammar incorrectly, for instance, “Yesterday. I go to shops,” as a TEFL teacher learning Mandarin you’ll already understand that the tense system works differently in Mandarin.
The Benefits of Teaching English in Terms of your own Language Learning
We touched upon this above. However, as an EFL Teacher, your understanding of various languages is going to be enhanced like the above example.
You’re also going to have better understanding of English, which will be invaluable when it comes to learning new features of a target language. It’s all very well learning from Teach Yourself, but if you don’t know what a ‘Present Perfect Continuous Tense’ is, good luck with working through a grammar book to become Upper Intermediate in your target language.
You’re also psychologically going to be better equipped. A lot of monolingual speakers fail at the first hurdle because they expect language learning to be a smooth-sailing, natural process. If you teach English as a Foreign Language, you’ll know from observation and experience exactly where the pitfalls in language learning are, and that language acquisition is done over hundreds of hours, even with a great learning system.
Other Benefits when you Teach English as a Foreign Language
You’re tapping into foreign cultures. You’re likely to meet incredibly motivated people who have all different sorts of goals, and have come from all over the world.
You’ll have a marketable skill. Potentially, you could turn it into a career in an of itself. A career where you can work anywhere, at any level, be it adults or children, for business or academic purposes.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Two things you can do right now are to look into a CELTA course. Cambridge English (the examining body) have a search on their site which will show you their training centres across the entire globe.
The second thing is to get a book on English Grammar. As per the example above, to Teach English as a Foreign language, and to learn a foreign language, you have to know the grammar of your native language. You can learn it as you go along, but this isn’t really helpful. Understand how your first language works, and then it makes learning a second a lot easier.